Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Mr. SPENCER. Who was that dealer?

Mr. LUKENS. I do not remember his name; I could get the name from the office record, but it would be hard to obtain, because the letter has gone into the files.

Mr. SPENCER. Do you not know that that had reference to the International?

Mr. LUKENS. No, sir. He may be selling a Walter A. Wood, the Acme, or Johnson, or some other line of harvesting machines. I do not know that he is selling them. They are not the only ones making binders, you know.

Mr. SPENCER. Do you not think it would have been proper to have had some comment on that subject?

Mr. LUKENS. I thoroughly approve of what that dealer did. If he withdrew the guarantee and advertised that he would not guarantee if they did not use twine he could recommend as against prison twine, I thoroughly approve of that. That is the reason I published it. As a matter of fact, I published the item as a suggestion to other dealers. We are against prison twine.

Mr. SPENCER. Your principal concern is with the implement dealers, is it not?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. They are the ones whose interest you have most at heart?

Mr. LUKENS. Primarily, yes, sir; but they serve the farmers, and, of course, we have an indirect interest in the farmers on that account. It is harder to get business when you have to sell at a high price. Less dissatisfaction and less kicking by the buyers makes it easier for the dealers to sell twine at a fair price than at an excessive price.

Mr. SPENCER. Do you think the planters of Yucatan are entitled to a fair profit on their production?

Mr. LUKENS. I certainly do.

Mr. SPENCER. Did you say that these people arbitrarily put up the price of sisal in the United States?

Mr. LUKENS. I think they did.

Mr. SPENCER. Were you not aware of the fact that freight rates had increased very considerably?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes.

Mr. SPENCER. You made no mention whatever about the fact, did you?

Mr. LUKENS. I think I did; I think that is mentioned in one of the articles.

Mr. SPENCER. Can you show me any article of yours in which you announced the increase in price in which you made any mention of the fact that freight rates had increased?

Mr. LUKENS. Well, I think there was a reference to it there, if you have all the file.

Mr. SPENCER. I have not all of your file, but I have some articles of yours in which you make the statement that the price of sisal had been arbitrarily increased by the comision. At the time these increases were made, the Comision gave a reason for it to all the manufacturers. Did you ever see any of the letters?

Mr. LUKENS. No; they have not favored me with the letters.
Mr. SPENCER. You knew that freight rates had increased?

Mr. LUKENS. Mr. Bayley told me that the freight was about 50 cents a hundred pounds.

Mr. SPENCER. Is that your best information?

Mr. LUKENS. That is my best information, and that was about a month ago, perhaps.

Mr. SPENCER. Have you any idea what it is now?

Mr. LUKENS. No. I have heard it stated that it was over a dollar; but if the statement is no truer than some statements made to me, how should I believe it?

Mr. SPENCER. Have you undertaken to verify it in any way?

Mr. LUKENS. I think there was some testimony given here to the effect that offers were made to transfer the fiber at less than the rates quoted.

Mr. SPENCER. Will you please just answer my question on that? Did you adopt any means of verification?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes; I asked Mr. Bayley about it about a month ago. I did some figuring there in one of those articles, in which I included reference to freight as a part of the cost to fix the basis of the price f. o. b. New Orleans.

Mr. SPENCER. If the freight had been advanced to $1.25 a hundred, do you think that would justify the person selling sisal in New York in increasing his price?

Mr. LUKENS. If the price was based on the 50-cent rate and was advanced to $1.25, it would certainly justify advancing the price to cover the increased cost of the transportation. That is a plain business proposition.

Mr. SPENCER. That is a plain business proposition, is it not?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes.

Mr. SPENCER. Therefore, if you found that the freight rates had been advanced-doubled in some cases-would you not consider that that if the farmer added only the cost of freight to his price that that would be a fair and businesslike proposition?

Mr. LUKENS. I do not quite understand that question.

Mr. SPENCER. I say, if this advance in the price of sisal had been commensurate only with the increase in the freight rates, would you consider that an arbitrary advance?

Mr. LUKENS. No.

Mr. SPENCER. You say you have not followed the increase in the freight rates sufficiently to be able to say what they are?

Mr. LUKENS. No; I have not paid any attention to it, except, as I say, I asked Mr. Bayley what the freight was at this time.

Mr. SPENCER. But, do you declare all these increases made from time to time by the Comision as arbitrary increases?

Mr. LUKENS. I asserted, and I believe it to be true, that they started out with a price that was excessive, in view of the transportation rate at that time.

Mr. SPENCER. What was the price it started out with?
Mr. LUKENS. As I understood it, 64 cents.

Mr. SPENCER. Is that your best information?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes; that was the best information I had.
Mr. FISHER. That was where?

Mr. LUKENS. F. o. b. New Orleans.

Mr. SPENCER. That was not f. o. b. New Orleans?
Mr. FISHER. That is what he said.

Mr. SPENCER. I know

Mr. FISHER. You can only get his understanding as to what the price was.

Mr. LUKENS. That was my understanding.

Mr. SPENCER. Is that price higher than it ever was before?

Mr. LUKENS. Oh, no.

Mr. SPENCER. A great deal higher?

Mr. LUKENS. It has been a great deal higher, also.

Mr. SPENCER. Do you consider that sisal should follow manila and the other hemps?

Mr. LUKENS. I do not.

Mr. SPENCER. Why not?

Mr. LUKENS. Because there is no relation between them any more, as there was formerly. There was a time when there was a certain relation which should be consistently maintained in the price, but that day is past.

Mr. SPENCER. Do you think a fiber like sisal should be equal to jute?

Mr. LUKENS. No; because there is an enormous demand for sisal for purposes jute can not be used for; on the other hand, jute can be used for a great many things that sisal can not, There is no relation between the two.

Mr. SPENCER. Has not New Zealand hemp and jute been lower than sisal in the years past?

Mr. LUKENS. I think it has.

Mr. SPENCER. Almost constantly?

Mr. LUKENS. New Zealand?

Mr. SPENCER. I said New Zealand hemp and jute, have not they both been below sisal for years past?

Mr. LUKENS. I could not say; I have not been much interested in New Zealand.

Mr. SPENCER. Can not that be used for the same purposes as sisal? Mr. LUKENS. It can be used by a mixture with sisal for binder twine, but not pure New Zealand for binder twine, as it would not work properly in the knotters and would not have the required tensile strength.

Mr. SPENCER. How do you know?

Mr. LUKENS. Because, I know it has been tried; experiments have

been made.

Mr. MAYER. I have taken at random a number of the Farm Implement News, the traction number. That is your paper?

Mr. LUKENS. That is our paper which you have in your hand. Mr. MAYER. I am taking the issue of January 27, 1916, at random. It is the only one that I have looked at.

Mr. LUKENS. Yes.

Mr. MAYER. Will you tell the committee what advertisements appear in that number of the International Harvester Co. or its subsidiaries?

Mr. LUKENS. What advertisements are of the International Harvester Co. ?

Mr. MAYER. Or its subsidiaries?

Mr. LUKENS. We do not receive anything from any of its subsidiaries.

Mr. MAYER. I did not say that you did.

Mr. LUKENS. I answer that part of your question.

Mr. MAYER. I said advertisements of the International Harvester Co. or any of its subsidiaries. I do not care from whom you got them? Mr. LUKENS. Page 6 is the International Harvester Co.

Mr. MAYER. The entire page?

Mr. LUKENS. Oh, no. I beg your pardon. That is the International Gas Engine Co. I saw the name International, and I thought it was the International Harvester Co. That is a small concern near Milwaukee. Here are pages 20 and 21; these are of the International Harvester Co., and the half page on page 73, and a half page on the inside of the back cover, which would be page 83.

Mr. MAYER. That makes three pages.

Mr. LUKENS. Three pages.

Mr. MAYER. Is this a weekly or a monthly?

Mr. LUKENS. A weekly.

Mr. MAYER. How much do you get a page for these advertisements? Mr. LUKENS. I refuse to answer that without the consent of Mr. Baker.

Mr. MAYER. I submit, Mr. Chairman

Mr. FISHER (interposing). He wants to know what he gets a page for these advertisements.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the purpose of that?

Mr. LUKENS. That is our personal business.

Mr. MAYER. The purpose, Mr. Chairman, is to let the committee determine whether the advertisements of the International Harvester Co. had any influence, the amount of revenue derived from that company, if that was any of the propelling causes for this self-assumed propagandist.

Mr. FISHER. Might I not suggest, Mr. Chairman, that instead of giving the prices-I was going to suggest something that might let him have the information that he wanted in a different form. I was going to suggest that he state that it is less than a certain sum, naming the sum, so that you can get the amount of it in that way.

Mr. LUKENS. The reason I spoke as I did is I am not familiar enough with the advertising rates to answer you definitely.

Mr. MAYER. That is not what you said. You said you would not answer except with the consent of Mr. Baker.

Mr. LUKENS. That is, Mr. Baker can tell me, or he can answer for me. I can make a general statement, which it seems to me will answer the question, that our rates are the same to everybody.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you mind stating what your rates are per page? Mr. LUKENS. The rate for a single insertion of a single page is $65. If a manufacturer makes a contract to use six pages in a year, there is a discount from that price.

The CHAIRMAN. How much discount?

Mr. LUKENS. That is a matter of several dollars, and I can not tell you exactly, because, as I say, I am not in that department.

The CHAIRMAN. But your rates are the same to all persons?

Mr. LUKENS. And then there is a gradual reduction up to 52 pages, to 52-page contracts, which would be a page in each issue. That is the minimum rate, and the maximum rate is a single page for one insertion.

Mr. FISHER. And the maximum is what?

Mr. LUKENS. $65.

28201-VOL 1-16- -27

Mr. FISHER. So that it is the most you get from any subscriber for a page advertisement?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. For a single insertion?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. What is approximately the total amount paid you by the International Harvester Co. for its advertisements-for itself and its subsidiaries, approximately?

Mr. LUKENS. About $2,500.

Mr. MAYER. The only source of revenue of your paper is its advertisements and subscribers?

Mr. LUKENS. That is all.

Mr. MAYER. If, like the rest of these newspaper gentlemen, you do not make any profit on your circulation, it comes-your revenuefrom the advertisements?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes; I do not think there is any profit in the circulation.

Mr. MAYER. And how many pages of advertisements, roughly, are there in your magazine?

Mr. LUKENS. That, of course, varies.

Mr. MAYER. I mean, take the number that I gave you.

Mr. LUKENS. Mr. Baker, do you remember how many there were on January 27?

Mr. MAYER. Oh, approximately.

Mr. BAKER. That is a special issue, of course.

Mr. LUKENS. 45; or, I would say, 50.

Mr. BAKER. January 27?

Mr. LUKENS. The traction number.

Mr. BAKER. I can count it.

Mr. LUKENS. There are approximately 50; I can say that.

Mr. MAYER. So that the advertising of the International Harvester Co. is about one-seventeenth of the total advertising in your paper? Mr. BAKER. I would like to be heard on that, with the consent of all parties alike.

Mr. MAYER. I will ask you about it; but let us pass along. Three pages is about one-seventeenth of 50?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes.

Mr. BAKER. That is correct, isn't it?

Mr. LUKENS. Sure.

Mr. MAYER. Now, you have stated to Mr. Spencer that you believed Yucatan farmers are entitled to make a reasouable profit on their sisal?

Mr. LUKENS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. Do you know what the price of sisal is to-day in New York?

Mr. LUKENS. I know what it was, according to the quotations, when I left home.

Mr. MAYER. Take that.

Mr. LUKENS. Seven and three-eighths.

Mr. MAYER. Seven and three-eighths delivered in New York?

Mr. LUKENS. For shipment.

Mr. MAYER. That is, delivered in New York?

Mr. LUKENS. That is what I understood was the price.

Mr. MAYER. That is correct. That has been testified to.

« ForrigeFortsett »